As for Documentation, it is the key to eliminating confusion and miscommunication.
I'm one of those people who prefers to converse in person and will tend to ignore requests to "follow up" by email.
I've found sometimes it's the "follow up" people who are backstabbers. They will do such things are talk with you at length about an issue, and then post to everyone the same question in such a way as to imply you never had the conversation, making everyone else think you're not willing to share information, just so they can force you to do it all over again, on their terms.
Is it a few minutes to summarise? No of course not, it's half a day of writing to meet their standards.
Is Documentation the key to eliminating confusion? Well good documentation is!
Misleading documentation, as every programmer who has wasted their time believing documentation and comments instead of code knows, is worse than no documentation.
But we were talking about email. It's the lack of structure while using it as a "but you said X in that thread 1,123 emails ago" stick that I find difficult.
Where I work, a lot of things are doing by email. So much of importance is written in emails,m yet *nobody can find things or keep track of things because there's so much email it's impossible for anyone to remember*. Even the most pro-email, pro-documentation and pro-structure people (which I respect) tell me they don't keep up with it, while simultaneously being advocates for it. That's not good documentation and in that scenario, those email trails seem to be more of a tool for ensuring that little productive work is really possible.